What UA wants and what RUN will settle for

Universities Australia backs the House of Representatives Committee inquiry calling for more resources for regional universities. “Strong regional universities are the beating heart of many regional communities and economies,” UA CEO Catriona Jackson says, calling for an end the present funding freeze and restoring the “uncapped system of university places.” The Regional Universities Network also applauded the report (CMM Friday).

Ms Jackson adds that the $3.8bn in the now moribund Education Investment Fund (set to be transferred to the NDIS) could provide the capital for economy-expanding regional university investments the Reps committee called for.

Good-oh, but surely what UA wants would be for demand driven funding and the EIF to apply to all its members. The government will find it cheaper just to fund individual regional unis – it has committed more UG places for the University of the Sunshine Coast and Southern Cross University and is kicking capital in at USC. Even without demand driven funding for all, the Regional Universities Network may settle for what it can get, which would take the pressure of the government in key seats come the election.


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